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Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type

Masters Thesis

Department or Program Affiliation


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Donovan, Deborah Anne, 1964-

Second Advisor

Love, Brooke

Third Advisor

Arellano, Shawn M.


Pinto abalone (Haliotis kamtschatkana) is the only abalone species found in the Salish Sea in the northeastern Pacific Ocean. They were recently declared as a State endangered species and human intervention is necessary to recover the species. Puget Sound Restoration Fund (PSRF) is one of the organizations trying to restore pinto abalone populations in the Salish Sea. Some of their outplant sites are less successful than others although they are physically similar. Currently, there is no research on how environmental variation affects juvenile pinto abalone survival, growth, and metabolic rate.

The goal of my thesis was to simulate summer sea water temperature fluctuations in the Salish Sea at different pCO2 levels. I investigated how these treatments affected juvenile pinto abalone growth, survival, and metabolic rate. I also included abalone size as a factor in my growth and survival experiment. I hypothesized that (1) fluctuating temperature and elevated pCO2 would negatively interact, resulting in less growth and survival, with larger abalone less affected. And (2) that fluctuating temperature and elevated pCO2 would synergistically interact, resulting in abalone with an increased metabolic rate. Fluctuating temperature significantly decreased abalone survival. Growth was not impacted by initial size nor pCO2 level. There was a significant interaction between temperature and pCO2 on abalone metabolic rate.

In addition to the physical parameters used to determine outplant sites, PSRF can use my findings to choose outplant sites better suited for juvenile pinto abalone to increase the probability of their populations recovering in the Salish Sea.




pinto abalone, abalone, fluctuation, variation, aquaculture, ocean acidification, ocean warming, global change, Salish Sea


Western Washington University

OCLC Number


Subject – LCSH

Pinto abalone--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Ocean temperature--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Water--Carbon dioxide content--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Ocean acidification--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.); Aquaculture--Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)




masters theses




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